Andy McSmith's Diary: Here’s one way of keeping Nadine Dorries quiet

 

The election that is currently occupying the minds of MPs more than any other is for the post of Deputy Speaker, to replace Nigel Evans, who stood aside while he faces criminal charges.

By convention, Evans’s replacement has to be a Conservative, because both the incumbent deputy speakers are Labour. Hence all the committed or possible candidates – Brian Binley, Simon Burns, Nadine Dorries and Eleanor Laing – are Tories.

Simon Burns, who until recently was a transport minister, is assumed to be Downing Street’s preferred choice, though how he can be expected to work in harmony with the Speaker, John Bercow, whom he has described as a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf” is a mystery. It is a symptom of how much the Tories loathe Bercow that Burns is a contender at all.

But though all the candidates may be Tories, the electorate consists of MPs of all parties, so it is by no means certain that the candidate of the Tory high command will win.

Nadine Dorries is making a virtue out of being the candidate David Cameron is least likely to support. She has sent every MP an email saying “I am obviously not the No 10 candidate, something which in the election of a Deputy Speaker should not exist.”

She has another odd sales pitch. She is a maverick, whose views jar on most MPs, though she has proved to be impartial in debates she has chaired in the secondary chamber in Westminster Hall; and if she were Deputy Speaker, she would not take part in any debate while she holds that office. As she put it in her round-robin email: “If you don’t agree with my position on abortion, this would be a good way to shut me up!” Now there is a thought.

Baker to rock Westminster  to its core

There was much comment yesterday about the newly appointed Home Office minister, Norman Baker, and his oddball conspiracy theories about the deaths of Robin Cook and Dr David Kelly.

A fact in danger of being overlooked is that the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes is also, at the tender age of 56, a wannabe rock star. He is leader of The Reform Club, a four-piece band.

In March, they released their first album, which included the track “Piccadilly Circus”, and an accompanying video. Not having heard “Piccadilly Circus” myself, I am prepared to trust the judgement of the Daily Telegraph’s chief pop and rock critic, Neil McCormick – “the song and performance is banal, obvious and pedestrian”.

But to be Young was very heaven...

Among documents put online yesterday by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation there is note to the Prime Minister written in the summer of 1982 by her parliamentary secretary Ian Gow with suggestions for a possible reshuffle.

Gow wrote the word ‘out’ alongside the name of a junior environment minister, Sir George Young. In the event, there was no reshuffle in 1982, and even after yesterday’s, he remains Chief Whip.

Radio 4’s Kearney fooled by Twitter spoof

There was a red-faced moment for Martha Kearney, during Radio 4’s World At One coverage of yesterday’s reshuffle after she told listeners that the backbench Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, had cheekily tweeted “my phone is very much on”. Jacob Rees-Mogg has never been on Twitter in his life. She was looking at a spoof account.

No name for Ukip refusenik Pain

If anyone out there can think of a suitable name for a new political group, Cllr Chris Pain, former Ukip leader on Lincolnshire County Council may be interested. That was where Ukip scored its biggest gains in May’s local elections, winning 16 seats to become the authority’s official opposition. Then Mr Pain, who was its leader, was expelled from Ukip for reasons that were not made public. He and five others broke away to form a group called “Ukip Lincolnshire”, but they have been ordered by party headquarters to drop the name.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project